Noted archaeologist R Nagaswamy, on Thursday, stood by his comments on Thirukkural and said that DMK President MK Stalin’s lack of knowledge on 300 years of Tamil historical studies undermined his accusation against Nagaswamy.
Nagaswamy’s response comes days after Stalin demanded his removal from a committee of the Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT) for allegedly being anti-Tamil. In a sharply-worded statement, Nagaswamy recorded the multiple instances when Kalaignar M Karunanidhi and MK Stalin had praised him for his work on Tamil language. Mentioning how Tamil scholars from world over consider him an authority on the subject, Nagaswamy wrote, “My works on Tamil art and culture for the past sixty years are known the world over. Hence Stalin’s statement that I am anti-Tamil is untenable.”
Defending his views that Thirukkural is rooted in Vedic tradition, Nagaswamy said that it was not just him, but Tamil scholars for the past 1,000 years, such as Parimelalagar, GU Pope and Dr UV Swaminatha Iyer have all supported this view. Adding that GU Pope, in his book, had made more than a hundred references to Manu Dharma Sastra and Bhagavad Gita, Nagaswamy said that Stalin was not aware of even 300 years of Tamil historical studies “exposing himself and his ignorance of Tamil language among world Tamil scholars.”
Nagaswamy also made it clear in his response that he has not yet received any communication till date about his appointment to any committee of the CICT. He also had nothing to add about Stalin’s allegations of the centre not allocating enough funds for CICT. “I suggest he revise his appeal to Government of India to save himself the embarrassment,” Nagaswamy wrote.
Stalin had alleged that Nagaswamy was anti-Tamil and distorted Tamil culture and history according to his whim. Stating that Nagaswamy had belittled the Tamil poet-saint Thiruvalluvar by saying that Thirukkural had its roots in the Vedas, Stalin accused the central government of not allocating enough funds for the institute.